Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Too Long

It's been way too long since I read a novel, which was The Road months ago, though I read it twice.

Since Jess got The Lovely Bones from the library about two weeks ago, I figured I'd take a shot at it, and I had trouble putting it down.

Like Snow Angels and The Ice Storm, I loved the 70s aspect of everything, even though I didn't grow up in that time.

I'm more thrilled for the movie now also, especially since Peter Jackson's taking the reigns. Not sure about Mark Wahlberg, but I'm anxious to see what Jackson does with the story. Since there are so many characters that have huge stretches of what happens to their lives, it'll be hard to translate everything to film. But Jackson's imagination's either going to suffocate it or make it a movie that everyone will be talking about.

I'm hoping it can do justice to how amazing the movie versions of The Ice Storm and Snow Angels really are. I'd love to teach a class one day regarding similarly-themed novels and their translations to film. A class integrating two of my reasons for living would certainly be something to be thrilled about.

I suppose it would be smart to think about such things while I'm getting my Ph.D.

But I'll be checking out the movie when it comes out, or if luckily it leaks.


I finally got a progressive scan DVD player, one that up-converts to 1080p, though that doesn't help me since we haven't gotten a new TV yet. But you can fit, say, a DVD rip of Seinfeld Season 8 (or any of the 9 seasons) on one DVD-R and play them directly from the .avi files.

And you can fit a bunch of movies on one DVD-R too. Which is nice for leaks and also movies like King of the Hill, which hasn't been released on Region 1 DVD yet. And what a great goddamn movie that is, by the way.

So it looks like I may be going the way of no-more-Netflix-for-me soon enough.


I was on some MFA blog recently and they made a good point about the upcoming months, mainly that you should write your ass of now, since moving, getting used to a new city, a new schedule, new people, new grocery stores, new directions, etc. takes a while to comfortably deal with.

Since I haven't really been writing lately, partly due to my nervousness of having six more schools to hear from (since no matter what I do I can't stop thinking about it), that's decent advice.

I may have to reach deep down and try to get things on paper, or move the cursor and hit the keys, because I hate when I'm not writing and / or I don't have things out in the world for consideration.


I've been thinking about slowing down in the upcoming months with manuscript contests. I've been spending, like many, a shitload of money on all these contests, and four finalist bids hasn't translated to much at all, though a little bit of legitimate hope is a good thing.

Unless I get it overhauled from a future professor wherever I am next year, I'm spent so much time on this thing that I can't see how it's ever going to change.

I'm talking poem beginnings to poem ends, the first line of the first poem to the last line of the last poem, how the sections move, verb choices, adjective choices, what to cut and what to leave, how many pages it should be for what I want the reader to get out of it, the new title of the manuscript.


And this isn't some I-want-hold-on-to-this-because-I'm-lazy bullshit. I've spent many afternoons and nights reading the poems out loud, questioning every motive someone could throw at me for every choice. Though it took a lot to cut a few poems, I did for the sake of the manuscript. And I'm someone who thoroughly believes that no book of poetry, unless it's a Collected or Selected, should be a physical 100 pages long. I want this to be a gut-punch, and I think finally that's what it is.

Then I suppose I'm saying, with what I wrote above, "If I'm not going to change anything, why not keep the same agenda and send the manuscript to the contests that may be right for my manuscript and that I would love to win if it happened."

Which probably means I won't back down and I'll still be sending it out like crazy.


The new Neko Case record is great. I've also been spending time with the new Bell Orchestre and Pan American records.

If this keeps up, since we haven't even hit March yet, 2009's shaping up for one of the best years for music in a long time.